May 21, 2022 3:12 PM
Ellie in lyingverse
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"The on symbol? The computer's on already."

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"Not the power button, the thing that goes in email addresses after the specific person and before whatever site it is?"

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"Oh, I call that the at symbol. It's here."

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"This curves east and on symbols curve west.  And don't have an A in the middle."

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"Oh. I don't have one of those on this keyboard."

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"I'm going to try it with this 'at' symbol anyways.  I - don't really expect it to work."  She writes up something to 'emergency@power.rom' and has to wipe at her eyes a couple times in order to see well enough to type.

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The email is returned to sender a minute later with a "not a valid address" error message.

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Ellie folds her hands neatly in her lap and tilts her head forward so her hair covers the sides of her face and sniffles.

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A police officer puts a shock blanket on her. Another one says, "I'm worried we're all going to be thrown off for the day on our actual jobs," and around her they try to get back to work.

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These weirdly-plain-uniformed police are so nice.  " - I'm sorry, I'll get out of the way - I'll just go - . . . somewhere else - "

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"Do you have somewhere else?" wonders a secretarial type person who is not even in a police uniform.

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". . . No."

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"I like thinking of myself as a helpful person so I'll let you sleep on my couch for a little while if you aren't going to steal or make a mess."

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" - Thank you so much; I definitely wouldn't."  Has Ellie horribly misled these people.  "Or if there's any slave-specific housing I can go there and, and work at another power plant.  - It wasn't a mistake of mine that it was maybe going to blow up, it was sabotage and I just - discovered it - "

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"We don't have any slave specific housing. Slavery's illegal in the FS," says one of the officers.

"I thought it was illegal in Italy too," someone muses. "Wow, fuck the Italians."

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Ellie shifts the shock blanket around herself.  "Oh," she says mildly.

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"You were a slave?" gasps the secretary who offered a couch. "Wow, I will have an amazing story about my generosity."

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"Stots.  Uh, yes, I was.  Is - when was slavery made illegal?  And what year is it; um, your technology looks fancier than I'm used to, now that I'm - thinking about that - "

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"It's 2776 and I think slavery's been illegal for - at least a hundred years? Maybe two or three hundred," says her would-be hostess.

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"It doesn't look two thousand years ahead.  What's the numbering from - "

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"The founding of Rome," someone says. "I think."

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". . . That's also what we use.  But, um, anyways is this country - run by a set of geminis with, um, particular tastes in.  How to run a country?"

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"I think the president is a Capricorn," says somebody.

"Why do you know that? It doesn't matter."

"I looked it up once. But I might remember it wrong."

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"Which birthday is Capricorn a nickname for."

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"December 21 to January 20," says the person who said the president was one.

Total: 264
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